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Open Access research with a European policy impact...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC).

EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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Living in two camps : the strategies Goldfields Aboriginal people use to manage in the customary economy and the mainstream economy at the same time

Sercombe, H. (2008) Living in two camps : the strategies Goldfields Aboriginal people use to manage in the customary economy and the mainstream economy at the same time. Australian Aboriginal Studies, 2008 (2). pp. 16-31. ISSN 0729-4352

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Abstract

The economic sustainability of Aboriginal households has been a matter of public concern across a range of contexts. This research, conducted in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia, shows bow economically successful Aboriginal persons manage 'dual economic engagement, or involvement in the customary economy and the mainstream economy at the same time. The two economies sometimes reinforce each other but are more often in conflict, and management of conflicting obligations requires high degrees of skill and innovation. As well as creating financially sustainable households, the participants contributed significantly to the health of their extended families and communities. The research also shows that many Aboriginal people, no matter what their material and personal resources, are conscious of how fragile and unpredictable their economic lives can be, and that involvement in the customary economy is a kind of mutual insurance to guarantee survival if times get tough.